S. K. Todi passes away
Shravan Todi, one of the few industrialists who made it big during the two-decade long tenure of Jyoti Basu as the chief minister of Bengal, breathed his last on Monday. He was 77.
Like many of his ilk from the Marwari community who made this state their home and seat of business, Todi moved to Bengal during his childhood and studied here and in Dacca where he honed his skill in the family business of glass and enamel.
When the war broke out in 1965, Todi left Bangladesh to permanently settle down in Calcutta. During this turbulent time, he came in contact with Basu, which led to a relation of mutual trust and fellowship which remained till the iconic Left leader died in 2010.
Even though Todi started his business with Bengal Tools Ltd in the 70s, set up in Dumdum, and expanded the family’s hire purchase business — later sold to Magma — and an engineering company, he was most widely known for his involvement in real estate.
Having had the knack of spotting land parcels and getting it converted for the purpose of housing despite the stifling rules and regulations during the Left rule, Todi co-promoted some of the most well known city developments such as South City and Urbana.
At the behest of Basu, Todi also took over ailing Niramoy Polyclinic at Dhakuria and set up AMRI Hospital there. He had to spend over four months in custody when a fire killed over 70 patients at the hospital in 2011, angering chief minister Mamata Banerjee. He has left behind a Rs 1,000-crore Shrachi empire which is now looked after by his sons, Ravi and Rahul.